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FISHERIES PLAN FOR SEAWEED

DEVELOPMENT OF A SUSTAINABLE HARVEST STANDARD

ARCHIVED DOCUMENTS


Fisheries Plan for Seaweed: UPDATE

Introduction of Bladder Kelp Seaweed, Macrocystis Pyrifera (KBB), in Fisheries Management Areas 3 and 4 into the Quota Management System on 1 October 2010

 

Bladder kelp consultation opens

 
Ministry of Fisheries media release
 
The Ministry of Fisheries has today released a consultation paper on catch limits for “attached” bladder kelp on the east coast of the South Island and on the Chatham Islands.   
 
The government announced last year that bladder kelp attached to substrate - usually the sea floor - in these areas would be introduced to the Quota Management System (QMS) on 1 October 2010.
 
“Seaweeds play an important role in the aquatic ecosystem, providing food, habitat and shelter for other marine animals,” said Leigh Mitchell, Ministry of Fisheries Inshore Fisheries Manager. “Internationally seaweeds also support sometimes large and highly valuable sustainable fisheries. 
 
“The consultation paper contains a range of catch limit options for bladder kelp in the two areas. The options have been developed after careful review of the best available information and are deliberately cautious to ensure sustainability, given the ecological importance of this species, while allowing opportunity for development.”
 
The consultation process will run for six weeks to provide people with a good opportunity to have their say on the catch limits proposed.
 
Submissions close on 15 April 2010. For the consultation documents, including a map of the relevant areas, see 
http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Consultations/Setting+of+Management+Controls/default.htm?WBCMODE=presentationunpublished%
 
The government is likely make a decision in the middle of this year.
 
Background
 
Bladder kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, also known as giant kelp, is a brown seaweed that forms extensive undersea forests.  Plants can grow from depths of 30 metres to the sea surface where they form extensive floating canopies.  
 
It is found in many areas of both the northern (Alaska, California) and southern (South America, New Zealand) hemispheres and is usually attached to the rocky ocean floor. 
 
It is the fastest growing organism on Earth, and can reach up to 60 metres in length in the northern hemisphere in one growing season. This is the time when environmental conditions such as light and nutrients are at their optimum levels that encourage kelp growth.
 
Bladder kelp grows more slowly in the southern hemisphere than the northern hemisphere but can still achieve between one and 15 millimetres a day and heights around 30 to 40 metres. 
 
In New Zealand the species is distributed patchily, but its range extends from Cook Strait southwards and around the Chatham Islands. 

 

 


DEVELOPMENT OF A SUSTAINABLE HARVEST STANDARD BY SANZ

Our coastal resources are managed under the regulations of the Ministry of Fisheries of the New Zealand Government.  SANZ is currently developing a standard to ensure that Beachcast and free-floating seaweed, which is harvested around the New Zealand coastline, ensures economic and environmental sustainability into the  future. 

Once this standard is trialled and operational, it will be expanded to include cut seaweed from our coastal waters.

If you wish to contribute to the development of this standard, then please email  the Secretary seaweed@wave.co.nz.